January 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Asia, Books, China, Development, Globalization, History, Research, World-system | Leave a comment










The Politics of Imagining Asia

Hui Wang (Author)

Theodore Huters (Editor)

Editorial Reviews


In these groundbreaking essays, Wang Hui questions the reigning paradigms of Chinese studies and China watching, tracing them to their historical and intellectual roots Delineating alternative concepts and practices in Chinese thought and history, Wang seeks not to assert a Chinese difference against universal paradigms but rather to articulate Chinese pursuits of modernity as both unique and brimming with world-historical significance. These essays are indispensable guides for anyone willing to rethink the inherited modes of inquiry about China.
–Ban Wang, Stanford University

This collection of Wang Hui’s essays is valuable reading for Westerners who want to understand what China’s emergence might mean beyond strictly economic terms. A book that deserves attention now.
–James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic

A powerful thinker! Wang Hui, China’s foremost humanistic scholar, offers a bold and well-grounded critique of the familiar narrative woven between “Asia” and “world history.” His broad vision and sharp analysis unravel the logic of modernity and its many contradictions to demonstrate how the meaning of the political has never ceased to morph in recent history and why we must fundamentally rethink its relationship to the nation-state, empire, and capitalism for the twenty-first century.
–Lydia H. Liu, author of The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (2004)

This fascinating book gives general readers, historians and political theorists a way of rediscovering China’s valuable revolutionary heritage. Wang Hui destabilizes what ‘Asia’s’ has meant in earlier history writing, and the 1930s ‘Kyoto School’ acts as his foil as he seeks a new starting point for thinking of Asian regionalism, Chinese language politics, international utopian socialism, and the prehistory of Tibetan-Chinese relations as possible optimistic alternatives to state developmentalism.
–Tani Barlow, Rice University

–Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University

Product Description

In this bold, provocative collection, Wang Hui confronts some of the major issues concerning modern China and the status quo of contemporary Chinese thought.

The book’s overarching theme is the possibility of an alternative modernity that does not rely on imported conceptions of Chinese history and its legacy. Wang Hui argues that current models, based largely on Western notions of empire and the nation-state, fail to account for the richness and diversity of pre-modern Chinese historical practice. At the same time, he refrains from offering an exclusively Chinese perspective and placing China in an intellectual ghetto. Navigating terrain on regional language and politics, he draws on China’s unique past to expose the inadequacies of European-born standards for assessing modern China’s evolution. He takes issue particularly with the way in which nation-state logic has dominated politically charged concerns like Chinese language standardization and “The Tibetan Question.” His stance is critical—and often controversial—but he locates hope in the kinds of complex, multifaceted arrangements that defined China and much of Asia for centuries.

The Politics of Imagining Asia challenges us not only to re-examine our theories of “Asia” but to reconsider what “Europe” means as well. As Theodore Huters writes in his introduction, “Wang Hui’s concerns extend beyond China and Asia to an ambition to rethink world history as a whole.”

Product Details:

· Hardcover: 368 pages

· Publisher: Harvard University Press

· March 15, 2011

· Language: English

· ISBN-10: 0674055195

· ISBN-13: 978-0674055193


Geoffrey Barraclough and Wang Hui

The eminent Professor Geoffrey Barraclough taught history at Brandeis University in Waltham Massachusetts in the 1970s.

In some of his books from his Brandeis years in the 1970s, he raises the possibility of a new world history seen through alternative and non-Western eyes.  This is analyzable as a prelude to the current Wang Hui quest.

See such Barraclough books as:

· Main Trends in History (1978)

· The Turning Points in World History (1979)

Geoffrey Barraclough (May 10, 1908 Bradford – December 26, 1984 Burford) was a British historian, known as a medievalist and historian of Germany. He was Chichele Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford, 1970–73.

Other positions he held were Professor of Medieval History, University of Liverpool, 1945–1956; Stevenson Research Professor, University of London, 1956–1962; and Professor of History, Brandeis University, 1968–1970, and also 1972–1981.

He read History as a scholar (undergraduate) of Oriel College, Oxford University in 1926-1929.[1][2]


· Public Notaries and the Papal Curia (1934)

· Papal Provisions: Aspects of Church History Constitutional, Legal and Administrative in the Later Middle Ages (1935)

· Factors in German History (1946)

· Origins of Modern Germany (1947)

· Mediaeval Germany 911 – 1250 (1948) essays by German historians, translator

· Crown, Community and Parliament in the Later Middle Ages: Studies in English Constitutional History by Gaillard T. Lapsley (1951) editor with Helen M. Cam

· History in a Changing World (1955)

· Survey of International Affairs, 1955-1956 (1960) with Rachel F. Wall

· Social Life in Early England (1960)

· Survey of International Affairs, 1956-1958 (1962)

· European Unity in Thought and Action (1963) Vogelenzang Lecture

· Survey of International Affairs, 1959-1960 (1964)

· An Introduction to Contemporary History (1964)

· The Mediaeval Empire – Idea and Reality (1964)

· The Historical Association, 1906-1966 (1967) Presidential Address

· The Medieval Papacy (1968)

· Eastern and Western Europe in the Middle Ages (1970)

· The Crucible of Europe: the Ninth and Tenth Centuries In European History (1976) later as The Crucible of the Middle Ages

· The Times Atlas of World History (1978)

· Main Trends in History (1978)

· The Turning Points in World History (1979)

· The Christian World: A Social and Cultural History of Christianity (1981)

· The Times Concise Atlas of World History (1982)

· From Agadir to Armageddon: Anatomy of a Crisis (1982)

· Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester, c.1071-1237 (1988)

· Atlas of World History (1989) with Norman Stone, and later editions and atlases

· The Times History of the World (2001) with Richard Overy


1. A. J. P. Taylor (1983) A Personal History, p. 106, Coronet Books ISBN 0340354712

2. Encyclopedia of historians and historical writing, Volume 1

The Politics of Imagining Asia

Hui Wang (Author)

Theodore Huters (Editor)


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